Sunday, January 10, 2010

Think Spice -Think Vanilla

"Think Spice". This is the name of the monthly event started by Sunita Bhuyan. Each month a different blog chooses a spice, and hosts the event. This month, I get to host it. And the spice I chose is Vanilla - the orchid plant producing the aromatic vanilla bean - the second most expensive spice in the world (after saffron).
When I had chosen this spice a couple of weeks ago while suggesting my blog for the event, I had been doing a lot of reading about it since I was kind of mesmerised with it's fragrance. I had used up a vanilla pod in a recipe and tossed the used up pod in my sugar canister. The soft, warming, vanilla fragrance that would wake me when I would open it to add sugar to my coffee kind of had me delirious for a few days!

A lot of us living in Switzerland are found groping for a couple of ingredients during our first few weeks of cooking here, which are almost staple in the rest of the world. Things like packed light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, cake flour, chocolate chips and of course vanilla extract! We get vanilla pods, and also vanilla sugar. But the extract has to be procured while on visits abroad!

While buying the extract or the pod, here are a few things I keep in mind
- Try picking up one with Madagascar-Bourbon bean
- Look for "pure" vanilla extract. Never one which says "vanilla essence". This would be cheap synthetically produced scent
- If buying a pod, see that it pliable and shiny
And of course, never ever throw away a used up pod. You can add it to your sugar to make vanilla sugar, or even a homemade vanilla extract!

So this is the theme for this month's "Think Spice". Onto the "rules".
1) Send me the recipes from your blog using vanilla in any form before 1-Feb-2010.

2) Mail me at snacksgiving[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject "Think Spice" with the following details
Your Name:
Blog Name:
Recipe Name and URL:

3) If you do not have a blog, just send in a picture

4) Link back to this post. If using an old blogpost, please update it with a link to this post as well.

5)Use the below logo if you like.

I will post a roundup in the beginning of the February.
Have fun! Share


  1. vanilla..nice choice dear. Will try to send some entries for sure.

  2. Oh, I would love to participate!! I love vanilla beans, and I have a bunch of them sitting in my kitchen drawer.

  3. Great idea choosing vanilla and I had no idea that it would be that hard to get a hold of there! :)

  4. I somehow stumbled upon this month's Think Spice event. I have never seen it before but I would love to join. This is a fantastic idea. I have actually been wanting to do something with vanilla beans recently so this worked out great! I'll keep you posted when I finally get to use them.

  5. Looking forward to sending my entry too!

  6. First time here , you have a beautiful blog. Enjoyed going through recipes and seeing the beautiful clicks.

  7. Hi! I just browsed through your blog. Wonderful recipes, I am fond of desserts alot! Mmm..! I love the smell of Vanilla. Hope to see many good desserts =)

  8. hi snacksgiving! i'm your adopted blogger momma (the adopt-a-blogger program)! just wanted to drop in and say hi. if you need anything or have anything you want to ask me just let me know. my sites are and